(b. ca. 1400, Murano, d. 1460, Murano)


Italian glassmaker, part of a family of glassmakers. The family are recorded as working in Murano, Venice, as early as 1324, when Jacobello Barovier and his sons Antonio Barovier and Bartolomeo Barovier (c. 1315-c. 1380) were working there as glassmakers. The line of descent through Viviano Barovier (c. 1345-1399) to Jacobo Barovier (c. 1380-1457) led to the more noteworthy Barovier family members of the Renaissance.

Jacobo was responsible for public commissions in Murano from 1425 to 1450. From as early as 1420 he was a kiln overseer, with a determining influence on the fortunes of the Barovier family. During the 15th century Jacobo's sons, notably Angelo Barovier (c. 1400-1460), and his sons Giovanni Barovier, Maria Barovier and Marino Barovier (c. 1431-1485) were important glassmakers.

From as early as 1441 Angelo owned a glass furnace. As a pupil of the philosopher Paolo da Pergola, he gained a scientific education, which, together with the empirical nature of his trade, enabled him to invent cristallo (c. 1450) and probably lattimo (milk) and chalcedony glass. In 1455 he was a guest at the court of the Sforza family in Milan, and in 1459 he was invited, without success, to work for the Medici family in Florence. His son Marino worked with him in 1455 at the Sforza court, where he met Antonio Filarete, who referred to both father and son in his Trattato di architettura (1461-64). There are no known authentic works of Barovier, although some historians assign him a wedding cup preserved in the glass museum on Murano, a cup of the birds in Trento and a blue glass chalice in Bologna. The wedding cup is now thought to have been made after his death and so is likely to have been the work of another member of his family; no other work can be securely attributed to Angelo.

After his father's death, Marino inherited the furnaces in Murano. As a steward of the glassworkers' craft (1468, 1482), he was active in the promotion and defence of Muranese glassworking. During the 16th century one of Marino's sons, Angelo Barovier or Anzoleto Barovier, owned a famous glass furnace, the emblem of which was an angel. Between the 16th and 17th centuries various members of the Barovier family moved to other European countries where they continued making glass.

The family regained its former prestige during the second half of the 19th century when, in 1884, Giovanni Barovier (1839-1908) and his nephews Giuseppe Barovier (1853-1942) and Benvenuto Barovier (1855-1931) became proprietors of the glassworks of Antonio Salviati (1816-90). During the 20th century Giuseppe created Art Nouveau wares. Ercole Barovier (1889-1974) was a noteworthy designer during the 1920s, and, together with the brothers Artemio Toso and Decio Toso, he established Barovier & Toso. A variety of new glass techniques were created, including wares in vetro diafono. Ercole's son Angelo Barovier (b. 1927) took over the company in the late 20th century.

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